South Stream ‘Plan B’ opts for route through Greece and Turkey

A Russian newspaper has published an article suggesting that the Kremlin-favoured South Stream gas pipeline could drop Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia for its route, and instead reach its final destinations, Italy and Austria, through Turkey and Greece.

On Monday (18 August), Russian business newspaper Vzglyad published an article by journalist Oleg Makarenko, claiming that Gazprom has a “plan B” in case Bulgaria continues to obstruct the construction of the South Stream pipeline.

A caretaker government in Sofia, which took office on 6 August, has frozen the construction of South Stream, following clear indications from Brussels that the EU executive would impose infringements on Bulgaria, unless the country re-negotiates its bilateral agreement with Russia for the construction of the pipeline, which is in breach of EU law.

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Islamic State seizes control of Iraq’s oil, wheat

ISIS terrorists are currently in control of seven oil fields in Iraq and large amounts of the country’s wheat supplies.

Iraqi officials said on Wednesday that the militants were holding government silos in five of Iraq’s most fertile provinces, where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says 40 percent of the country’s wheat is grown.

The output capacity of the ISIS-held oil fields amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a monthly oil market report on Tuesday. Continue reading

Iraq: Yazidi Rescue Mission ‘Far Less Likely’

A humanitarian mission to rescue thousands of Yazidis trapped in Iraq is “far less likely” to take place after an assessment carried out by a US team.

US Army Special Forces soldiers and a US Agency for International Development (USAID) team spent several hours on the mountain speaking to refugees on Wednesday.

They have since returned to Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region, and reported fewer Yazidis remain trapped on the mountain than previously feared.

Some 5,000 refugees remain stranded on Mount Sinjar, according to Sky sources. Continue reading

Russian convoy vanishes on road to Ukraine

Uncertainty surrounded a 262-truck “aid convoy” on Wednesday that appeared to grind to a halt before reaching the border

The convoy, which departed from an army base near Moscow on Tuesday, appeared to vanish on Wednesday, adding to confusion surrounding the route and purpose of the cargo.

Last seen in the city of Voronezh, 300 miles south of Moscow, on Tuesday, the convoy never reached the border near the Russian city of Belgorod that the Russian foreign ministry said it would use.

Rumours that the convoy had headed south from Voronezh to cross the border directly into rebel-held territory – a move that would be viewed by Kiev as tantamount to a declaration of war – could not be substantiated.

Russian state television initially reported the convoy to be en route to Belgorod. But journalists waiting at the Pletenivka checkpoint, on the Ukrainian side of the border where Russia had said the convoy would cross, saw no sign of the vehicles. Continue reading

Nazi Symbolism in Ukraine: Details

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – While Ukrainian authorities have been denying their affiliation with neo-fascist movements, similarities between the symbols used by the Kiev-backed forces and those used in Nazi Germany during World War II cannot be overlooked.

AZOV BATTALION

The Azov Battalion is an armed group, with members of the patrol unit of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The battalion was formed in May 2014 in the city of Mariupol. The group’s badge bears strong resemblance to the Wolfsangel rune that served as a symbol for the Waffen-SS military forces. The symbol is comprised of Latin letter “I” for “idea” and “N” for “nation”. Continue reading

ISIS brutally subdues rebellion in Syria, beheading and crucifying tribesmen who resisted their rule

BEIRUT — Islamic militants have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule in eastern Syria after three days of clashes in a string of villages near the border with Iraq, beheading and crucifying opponents along the way, activists said Monday.

The fighters from the Al-Qaeda breakaway Islamic State group control huge swaths of territory in eastern and northern Syria and are fighting rival rebels, Kurdish militias and the Syrian army for more territory. Continue reading

U.S. lawmakers warn of ISIS attack on American soil, urge strong response to Islamic terrorists in Iraq

Islamic militants’ growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply disagreed on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.

President Barack Obama last week approved limited airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham fighters, whose rapid rise in June plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the end of 2011, when U.S. troops withdrew from the country at the end of an unpopular eight-year war. Obama said the current military campaign would be a “long-term project” to protect civilians from the deadly and brutal insurgents.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the militants threaten not just Iraqis but also Americans. He said Obama’s airstrikes were insufficient to turn back the militants and were designed “to avoid a bad news story on his watch.”

I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and in Iraq,” said Graham, a reliable advocate for U.S. use of military force overseas.

They are coming here,” Graham later added about the militants. “This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. It is about our homeland.Continue reading

Poland PM warns of possible Russian direct intervention in Ukraine

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warns the threat of a direct intervention by Russia’s military in Ukraine has risen over the last couple of days

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that he believed there was a “growing threat of direct Russian intervention” in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Seeks to Protect Mecca after ISIS Destroys Iraqi Religious Sites – Reports

MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Saudi Arabia is seeking help from Pakistan and Egypt to protect its borders and religious sites from attacks by the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the International Business Times reported.

“The kingdom is calling in favors from Egypt and Pakistan. No one is certain what ISIS has planned, but it’s clear a group like this will target Mecca if it can. We expect them to run out of steam, but no one is taking any chances,” the International Business Times wrote Sunday citing an adviser to the Saudi government. Continue reading

ISIL Targets Saudi Intelligence

Which is precisely why they have asked Pakistan for troops, previously said to have been in the 30,000 range. If the House of Saud goes, so does the calm portion of Arab world — and for good. What’s more, and bit of a side note, is noting how U.S. agencies mine social media to get a feel for the real social-political climate of a nation, even its own.

 

Officials: ‘Crowd-sourced’ assassination campaign aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia

The ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom.

The campaign, according to U.S. officials, appears aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia, the location of two of Islam’s holiest cities.

U.S. officials said social media monitoring indicated that thousands of Saudis are supporting ISIL, as indicated by social media use. Twitter users in the kingdom account for 40 percent of all Twitter users in the Arab world. Continue reading

ISIS claims gains, takes control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam

(CNN) — Fighters with the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria reached the triangle border between Iraq, Syria and Turkey, it said in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday.

ISIS took control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq’s Tigris River, which provides power to the city of Mosul about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the south, the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility said Sunday.

The dam workers remained inside the facility, which fell after a 24-hour battle, Lt. Col. Herash said. Continue reading

‘We are looking at the beginnings of a Holocaust’

The situation facing European Jewry is “simply intolerable, unacceptable and inexcusable,” Israeli Jewish Congress president Vladimir Sloutsker told MKs and foreign diplomats at a special session of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on Monday.

Calling the rise in anti-Semitic incidents accompanying Israel’s invasion of Gaza an “SOS situation,” Sloutsker warned that if left unchecked, such behavior could lead to another European genocide.

“Never before since the Holocaust, have we seen such a situation as today,” he said, referring to the continent-wide demonstrations by pro-Palestinian activists, a number of which have generated into violence and many of which have featured racist rhetoric.

“We are potentially looking at the beginning of another Holocaust now. These events [violent demonstrations and expressions of anti-Semitism] will only grow in scale across Europe,” he asserted. Continue reading

ISIS’s Black Flags Are Flying in Europe

The symbol of the murderous Islamic State is waving in The Hague. ‘Death to the Jews,’ shout the demonstrators. Yet the Dutch government authorized the protests.

“Death to the Jews” chanted the crowd waving the black flags of the Islamic State, or ISIS as it used to be known. They were looking for new supporters for their cause, the creation of a worldwide caliphate answering to the man who now calls himself Ibrahim: a zealot too radical even for Al Qaeda who has stormed through Syria and Iraq carrying out mass executions, crucifying rivals, beheading enemies. But these marchers were not in Syria or Iraq; they were in The Hague in The Netherlands. And their message was one tailored to the disaffected young descendants of Muslim immigrants in Europe.

“We are Moroccans,” went out the cry over a portable loudspeaker. “The French killed the Moroccans but they didn’t kill them all; the grandchildren of the few men left protest against the West, America and the Jews.”

Many of the demonstrators covered their faces with Palestinian scarves or balaclavas. “Anyone who doesn’t jump is a Jew,” someone shouted as the whole group started jumping in a scene that might have been ludicrous if it weren’t for the hateful message. “Death to the Jews!” the crowd shouted in Arabic. Continue reading

Netanyahu’s dilemma: Back Obama’s save Hamas policy, or fight for its downfall with Egypt and Saudis

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entangled himself Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27,  in the net he had cast to blur the effect of the unanimous decision by the security-political cabinet of Friday to turn down the ceasefire proposals proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The two diplomats and their partners, a brace of European ministers and Qatar and Turkey, who met in Paris to concoct a peace framework for Gaza, were privately dubbed by wags in Jerusalem the “Save Hamas Squad.”

Netanyahu tried to present the flat cabinet “no” to the ceasefire as a “no, maybe.”

His purpose was to leave an opening for the US and UN to ginger up their pro-Hamas framework for ending hostilities in the Gaza Strip by incorporating elements that Israel’s security needs half way. If that was done, Israel, he indicated, would be amenable to joining lengthy ceasefire accords with Hamas, or even making unilateral halts in violence. Continue reading

It’s like 1938, says Israeli ambassador to Germany: Outbreaks of anti-Semitism on the rise across Europe

  • Yakov Hadas-Handelsman has expressed fears over attacks on Jews
  • Germany: pro-Palestinians are chanting race-hate slogans against them
  • Recent Israeli military action in Gaza has killed hundreds of Palestinians

Jewish people are being attacked and abused on the streets of Germany as though the country were back in the Nazi era, political and religious leaders warned yesterday.

Murderous slogans dating back to the days of Hitler have been chanted at pro-Palestinian rallies in Germany. Jewish-owned shops were attacked and burned in riots in France at the weekend.

The Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, said: ‘They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938.’ Continue reading